Gender Differences in Self-Reported Posttraumatic Growth: A Meta-Analysis

March 1, 2010
Psychology of Women Quarterly

A meta-analysis was conducted to examine the direction and magnitude of gender differences in self-reported post-traumatic growth. Results from 70 studies (N = 16,076) revealed a small to moderate gender difference (g = .27, 95% CI = .21 -.32), with women reporting more posttraumatic growth than men. Moderator analyses were then conducted to identify possible sources of these differences. The following moderators were examined: mean age of sample, measure used, nature of the stressful event, language of the measure, and type of sample (i.e., community samples, college students, or mixed). The only significant moderator was age, with women reporting incrementally more posttraumatic growth as the mean age of the sample increased (B = .004, p < .01, SE = .001, Q = 9.13). To check for publication bias, effect sizes were compared across published and unpublished research. The size of the gender difference was not significantly different between published (g = .30, 95% CI = .23 -.38) and unpublished (g = .22, 95% CI = .12 -.31) studies. The present findings indicate that modest, but reliable gender differences exist in posttraumatic growth even when unpublished data are included in the analyses. Possible explanations for these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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